Thursday, March 29, 2007

Shameless tease for the other blog

Something occurred to me the other day. It was a moment when something happened and my first thought was - Oh, I'll have to blog that! Because yes, I'm turning into THAT kind of freak. But anyway. I finally realized that I have been blogging over here a lot more recently than I have been blogging over in the kids' blog. When I first started a diary for the kids, I was so excited and had SO many things to write about that I didn't know where to start. I felt like I was there all the time. Then I started this little blog of mine so I had a place to write down some things that I wouldn't necessarily want to share with the kids.

At first, I thought this wasn't going to go so well and I was starting to worry that I really had become the mom who had nothing else interesting to talk about besides her kids. Okay, so maybe interesting is a stretch, but lately, I'm finding it so much easier to hang out over here and 'chat'. It's harder to talk to the kids, you know?

Maybe it's because I'm amongst friends here. I know you - well, I think I know all of you. I suppose it's possible there are some lurkers out there. But it's fairly unlikely. The lurker I just learned about (Hi, Brian! No, girls, not THAT Brian.) doesn't really count as a lurker - he's a friend, too. So when I'm here, I'm chatting about life and stuff and it's comfortable. When I'm talking to the kids over in their world, there's a little more pressure. I've realized that, while I'm not lying to them, I am trying to put a little better spin on some of the stuff going on, even when I'm talking about hellacious bedtimes and torrential tantrums. I don't really know when or even if they will read what I have over there, so it's hard to gauge what age group I'm talking to. Maybe I should be brutally honest and really tell it like it is. But I gotta tell you, if I wrote only the stark and nasty truth, there are days when they would think I regretted ever having them. And I really don't - I promise! You know, not every day. But oh, sometimes, I dream of the days when coming home from work meant dinner of whatever we wanted - or out to eat on a whim. Or even better, maybe a movie. ON A WEEKNIGHT. And without any planning ahead WHATSOEVER. Oh, and sex. Because we weren't tired. Ever. Those were good times.

These are good times, too, they are just very different times. Days are full of things like daycare, homework, Disney channel, baseball, screaming, macaroni, peeing the bed, and on and on. Oh, good times, my friends. Good times.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

What's a twelve-letter word for disruptive?*

So the big news in parent guilt - THIS week - is the new study that says kids who spend more than two years in day care are more disruptive in school through the sixth grade. Great. Because I wasn't quite feeling like a bad enough mother yet. So it's good, really, that we just took care of that last bit of parental self-worth.

At least it's not all bad. The study also found higher vocabulary scores in kids who receive high quality care when they were young - even if it was outside day care. So, all I have to do is find a "high quality" day care. Then at least my kids will be able to use really big words when they disrupt the class.

*obstreperous - my kids will totally know what this word means!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Where there's smoke, I might start a fire

You know you're a mom are seeing freaky preschool characters in the strangest places. Last Friday, on my way back to work after lunch, I pulled up behind a car at a red light. The driver's hand was hanging out the window and was holding a cigarette. Not an uncommon site, but when I glanced back, I saw Oobi. Oobi is the freaky character of a kids' show on Noggin made from a HAND.

Oh, yes, that's right - Oobi is a hand. A hand with an eyeball ring. And the fingers. Of the hand. They are Oobi's nose, mouth, and HAND. So when Oobi picks something up, Oobi uses his hand which is also his mouth which is also his hand. Ironic since Oobi IS a hand... And Oobi has a bunch of other hand friends and family. Freaky. I don't let the kids watch Oobi. Because it's stupid and freaky, that's why! But if you watch Noggin, you can't avoid the promos. And now I'm seeing Oobi in my everyday life and Oobi is SMOKING. Seriously. Those kids are watching too much t.v.

So that was Friday at lunch. Friday night, we showed the new Veggie Tale movie at church. (Do you see how my life revolves around those kids and their t.v. characters? Ack!) I thought it would be a good idea to pop some popcorn. I took up my stovetop popper, the popcorn, popcorn salt...I had everything, except I forgot the oil. Oh, no problem, there was some olive oil left over at church from our spaghetti dinner. Great! Did you know that olive oil has a lower burn point than regular cooking oil? Funny. I knew that. It's amazing what facts can slip your mind when you are answering the clammering cries of two small children. But that fact did come racing back to my mind when I heard a strange "POOF!" from the church kitchen. Smoke. Flames. Burning. IN THE CHURCH! Did I mention there was a wedding scheduled the next day?

I think it might be true about your life flashing before your eyes when you die because I saw a future flash before my eyes as I slammed the popper lid shut and carried the smoking pot outside. And that bride was pissed.

The Internet has eyes

So I think I'm being watched by a new pair of eyes. And perhaps discussed. By a pair of eyes I did not expect to look here. Maybe being made the butt of some jokes. It's entirely possible. I am suspicious. And I'm considering how this feeling of being watched might make me feel I should restrain myself a little. What will he think of all that I put out here? I'm sure he thinks this is pointless and stupid. But I love being here. So I think I'll stay.

I only have one more thing to say: Game on!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

I can quit anytime I want. I just don't. want. to.

Oh no. I think my husband tried to have an intervention. Apparently, my recent increased attachment to the laptop has not gone unnoticed. He went to a movie by himself today (oh, I have so many thoughts on THAT, but another time...). When I tried to protest - from behind the laptop screen - he said it wouldn't be any different if he stayed because I'd just be at the computer the whole time. But at least we'd be together, right?! He accused me of being attached to the computer 24-7 lately. And then? Then he said something nearly unforgivable. He hurts to even type it...he suggested that I go ALL WEEK without the computer. Clearly, he was trying to kill me. When I told him as much, he backed off and only tried to maim me with a one day abstention. Monday. No computer when I get home. What?! Why?? What have I done to him? Does he hate me that much?

Okay, so maybe I need to lay off the VBS forum, Google homepage, blog surfing...a little...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Moving on, back to 1993

Today, I left work at noon. I am running pretty low on PTO (thanks to a few too many "I think I'll take a day off" days and way too many "my kids are sick and want Mommy" days), so I went to work this morning trying to convince myself that I did not have a fever and that I could make it through the day. But by noon the cold sweats and desire to use my keyboard as a pillow convinced me it was time to pack it in. Okay, so I'm still sick and it would be best to avoid earning a new nickname around the office. Because I'm pretty sure that if I'm introduced to the new guy as Typhoid Cheri, that's going to be something that he remembers for a while.

On my way home, it was time for the WTTS Time Capsule. Today's year: 1993. And the first song played to transport me back to that milestone year: I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers (if I was as cool as Taunie HTML-book Smartypants, maybe I could embed the video right here, but since I'm not, you'll just have to follow the link). Ahh, the memories. The timing! It was Fate. It was Love. 1993, the Summer of 1993, more specifically, is when the Mississippi River introduced me to my future husband. It's just a romantic that way. And then the Proclaimers helped me fall in love with him. They're quite the match-making duo.

It's actually a little bit of a long and twisty story, and I am nothing if not long-winded, so if I try to relate the whole story here, you'll be reading a book. I'll do my best to summarize, I'll even use bullet points to see if that helps! Here goes:

  • The Mississippi River floods Des Moines, where I had stayed on campus at Drake University.
  • Grandpa kindly rescues me from the city without properly functioning toilets and three feet of water where downtown used to be.
  • I visit my best friend in her college town, Charleston, Illinois.
  • She introduces me to the guy she has a big ol' crush on.
  • He almost backs over me with his car.
  • I decide he's kinda cute. (My best friend moved on to other crushes, and yes, there was some other stuff between him trying to kill me and me deciding he's cute - don't look at me like that!)
  • He drives me and my best friend 500 miles - JUST LIKE in the song (okay, it was more like 400 miles, but go with me here) - back to Des Moines to rescue my things from the abandoned campus.
  • He gets REALLY drunk the night before we leave Des Moines, but still has to drive the entire way back because he is the only one who could drive a stick shift. (That's not all that important to the story, but it's funny, so I like to remind him of it any chance I get.)
  • Yada yada yada
  • We fall in love.

Okay, I had to cheat and use the yada yada...what can I say, it's a nice little story and I could go on for a while. I can't wait until the kids are old enough so I can tell it to them (of course, I'll have to take a little creative license here and there since we met at a bar and a lot of the funny stories start with "Steve was really drunk and..."). And as angry as I was at him a couple of days ago, I've moved on now. He has been more considerate of my sickliness and, truthfully, I'm whiny when I'm sick. Worse, I don't like to admit that I'm whiny, so I just take it out on him. Poor sap. If he'd known this is what he was in for, he might have tried harder to run me over that first night we met. Or maybe been less of a hottie. With those glasses, was that possible?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Nope, I'm not over it yet.

Last night's rant continued.

This morning, Andrew informed me that his homework - the homework from when he was out sick on Thursday that Steve picked up on Friday afternoon - is not completely done. This, after last night I found the homework laying on the table and he told me it wasn't done. So I told him to finish it - and Steve was involved in this conversation. And then I lapsed into delirium again. Apparently, Steve didn't follow up on the homework situation and Andrew didn't feel the need to actually finish it. This morning, he said he didn't want to finish it. Maybe they've changed things since I was in elementary school, but I don't remember homework being optional. When I told Steve, he said "That's all my fault. I didn't keep on him." I said I agreed.

Needless to say, there were a bunch of unhappy people in my house this morning. Pretty much everyone was fairly miserable with life in general by the time we left. And Andrew was working on his homework when I left him at day care. He gave me a little practicing-for-adolescence attitude when I told him I would be checking with his teacher today to make sure he turned it in. He said it wouldn't be. Because he just enjoys being in trouble both at school and home, I guess.

It should be a fun evening. If I can stay awake that long.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sick. And tired. And very very bitchy.

I had a topic. It was good. A catchy title and everything. But it will have to wait, because I need to vent. And what good is a blog if you can't use it to complain about your husband?

Okay, so I went to San Diego. It as for work, but yes, I had a good time. Okay. And while I was away, he got sick - very sick. 102 degree fever, very raw very sore throat, chills, body aches. The whole thing. And while he was there, dealing with being sick, he was responsible for taking care of the kids. He didn't call his mommy or anyone else for help, he just sucked it up and dealt with it. Okay. It sucked. I get it. I felt terrible about it while I was gone, I really did. And when I got back, I took over. Completely. I put the house back in order - because it looked worse than I could have ever imagined. I waited on him - and the kids, who acted starved for attention - hand and ever loving foot. Seriously. Food brought to him while he laid on the couch, kids kept as quiet as possible. I even did the DISHES for crying out loud, and anyone who really knows me knows that is a major event. And even more than that, I didn't complain. I know it's hard to believe of me, but really, I didn't. Not once all day Thursday, Friday (when I took an EXTRA day off from work, using more of my quickly dwindling PTO bucket because Abby was running a fever), and Saturday, and I made it to Sunday night before I let loose a little. Sunday night, when I got myself a bowl of ice cream and brought it in to the living room, he said "Oh, that's real nice. Thanks for bringing me some." Seriously?!? So I kinda went off a little. But just that once. Really.

He has taken a long time to get over this virus, and when he came home from work Monday, Tuesday (my birthday - he was asleep when we got home, but he did wake up and take me out to dinner), and Wednesday, he took a nap. And I took care of the kids. And made dinner. And put the kids to bed. He did help out some, but he was on fairly light duty. And I understood. He was still feeling puny. I got it. But I was tired, too, and was having trouble shifting my internal clock back from California time and then from the time change. And I was getting a little cranky.

Thursday, Andrew was sick. We pulled a split shift - Steve worked in the morning, I went in for the afternoon. Friday, Andrew and Abby were both sick. We split the shift again. And by the time I got home Friday night, I had it. Oh, crap. No sore throat, but maybe one of the worst colds I ever remember having. I was wiped out, butt kicked. Head cold, coughing, sneezing, nose that is both runny and stuffy at the same time, fever, lost my voice, general bleachness. Saturday, I laid around a lot. Didn't do too much. And I did get a nap. But I also took care of kids, picked up around the house, made the kids lunch, made dinner, and answered almost every one of the approximately 4,000 times one of the kids said "Mom." I didn't do it all, but I did enough. I was nearly delirious.

And then today. OMG, today. Wait, first let me back up a little. I need to point out that it is March. If you don't know anything about basketball, let me tell you that there is a reason they call it March Madness. My husband is a big fan of college basketball. And when he is using all of his visual sense to watch college basketball, he often loses function in his other senses - especially hearing. So while the tournament is going on, it's a hit or miss proposition as to whether he's aware of what is going on around him. I only wish I was exaggerating. So even on Saturday, there were many times when he would wait until I prompted him before he would react to whatever needed reacting. Things that I didn't have the energy to give the proper amount of authority. Like kids hitting each other, throwing Legos, spilling food, etc., etc.

So last night, I got some things ready that needed to go to church - prepared them for Steve to take since I obviously wouldn't be going. I also helped to finish the church directory so the church secretary and her husband could finish printing it for today's service. All of this while I couldn't breathe - it was really quite an accomplishment. He took the things to church today, but only did half of what I had asked - because he didn't have time. Uh, that's because you didn't get your ass up out of bed when I told you to (since I was already up taking care of the kids, still sick), Jack Ass! Okay. Moving on.

He kept talking about going to see a movie. Alone. A movie I didn't want to see. Today. While I'm SICK and the kids are getting over being sick and are whiny because they've been basically cooped up in the house since Thursday. I just let him talk. Surely he didn't really intend to go. On his way home from church, he stopped to pick up groceries to make this special cheesy tomato rice dish that his mother used to make. I hate it. Can barely stand the smell of it. And he knows this. We've had many discussions about it. So he clearly didn't intend on including me in this lunch he was planning to make. Just as well, I had already fed the children and planned on eating some of the soup I had made the day before. You know, when I was also sick. Fine. Okay. The cheesy tomato rice preparation took long enough that he missed the starting time of the movie. So I still don't know if he really intended to go or not. But he looked at the listings for a long time. And he made plans with Andrew to take him to the TMNT movie next weekend. So I'm pretty sure he at least considered it.

I mentioned that we were going to need more Kleenexes - we're going through quite a few of them around here right now - and we were getting low on bottled water. And I asked what the chance was of him going to Wal-Mart. He said "Not," but that's a pretty typical response for him. Smart ass, all the time. Then we ran out of bottled water. And I don't drink Indiana tap water - it's gross. If you don't live here, just trust me on this. And I'm sick (have I mentioned?), so I really need to drink a lot of water. At 7:30, I got up to MAKE MYSELF DINNER - he ate cheesy tomato rice leftovers at 5:30. Didn't offer to make me anything (but to be fair, I was half-asleep), didn't feed the kids. The kids asked ME to get them some dinner. So I did. And he sat on the couch. And then I ate while the kids yelled and ran and fought and did not go to bed. And he sat on the couch. So at 8:30, I tried to make myself presentable enough as to not scare the innocent public, made a list, put on my shoes, and prepared to go to Wal-Mart. And he sat on the couch. When he finally asked what I was doing and I told him, he actually asked me if I wanted him to go. Seriously? YES! So he said I should give him the list. I told him to forget it and just take care of getting the kids to bed (because honestly, going to Wal-Mart takes a lot less energy and I knew I was going to be stuck with one or the other). And I went to Wal-Mart.

When I got home, and UNLOADED EVERYTHING, INCLUDING TWO CASES OF WATER, I came inside to find the kids in the back of the house, but most certainly not laying in bed. And he was sitting on the couch. They were yelling and giggling and very clearly together in one room, not each in their own, they were up and playing in the bathroom, they were playing in the hall. And he SAT ON THE COUCH. Finally, at 9:30 (NINE FRIPPING THIRTY), I got up and asked if he was actually going to sit there and do nothing and make me be the bitch. You'll just never guess what he did. Jerk. So I went and yelled at the children, put them back in their own beds, threatened them as any proper Mommy Ogre does, and came out here to type all this streaming vent in one massive bitch-a-thon.

And he's now laying on the couch.

God, he's hot. Or maybe that's the cold medicine I just chugged talking.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Don't mess with me and my karma

So what happened in San Diego, you ask? I've been back for a week and haven't posted any summary of the vast amounts of knowledge I gained from my conference, you say? Well, I've been a little distracted. There's been some jet lag to deal with and then there's been the family lag - one being where your body is trying to catch up with the difference on the clock, and the other being where your family tries to make you pay (and pay and pay) for abandoning them, even if only temporarily.

But there are a few things I remember from my moments in the sun.

Okay, first, you should know that karma is real. And I had to pay for enjoying myself in sunny San Diego with some impish karma happenings. Yes, I enjoyed a conference in which I was able to professionally refresh myself, get re-energized about our upcoming projects, learn a few new things, and do a bit of networking. And true, I had a beautiful hotel room with: a giant King-size bed, upon which I slept cross-wise - just because I could; a balcony upon which I could sit in absolute silence and enjoy completing an entire thought without being interrupted by "Mom. Mom. Mom? Mom!"; a spectacular view of the Coronado bay, bridge, and island, where I witnessed a couple of breath-taking sunsets; a bathroom I did not have to share and where - similar to the balcony - I could complete my thoughts without interruption or audience; and, a television that wasn't tuned to ESPN even ONCE. I also had fabulous food, which was either provided by the conference or for which my company will be kind enough to reimburse me, and though I had my share of adult beverages, I didn't pay for any of them with my own money. And unlike my college days, I didn't owe any other kind of non-monetary payment for said beverages at the end of the evening. Although I think the consultants who bought most of those drinks probably would like a little something from me, I'm pretty sure it involves contracts and advice, not dark dorm rooms and next morning walks of shame. Of course, with some of these consultants, you really can't be too sure. Oh! And I got to hear another very energetic and motivational speech from Dean Hager, of whom I admit I am a bit of a Lawson groupie.

And for these wonderful benefits, what did I have to endure? Well, there was the attack of the killer sodas. Every - and I am NOT exaggerating - can or bottle of carbonated soda I opened immediately fizzed over making a mess on me, my clothes, and the floor. The worst attack came when I tried to save a can of Diet Coke for later. I had it in my conference complimentary messenger bag to take back to my hotel room so I could have it the next morning (for some reason, conferences have not caught on to the fact that there is a segment of the population who get their morning caffeine in a colder and more carbonated form than the gallons of coffee they provide for everyone else). I stopped to use the restroom, hanging my bag on the cute little hook. You know, I didn't want to set my bag on the floor and risk becoming infected with e.coli. Unfortunately, right after I sat down, the bag fell. And then I heard an odd noise. Had a snake, now angered by its jolt, somehow snuck into my bag? Oh, no. I frantically grabbed for the bag, throwing things out of the way of the exploding can. I grabbed the can and put it in the nearest receptacle I could reach from my sitting position - and no, I couldn't get up, yet - which was the handy container for feminine product disposal. I pulled my notebook, papers, electronic essentials, and vendor giveaway trinkets (aka souveniers for the kids) from the bag and laid them on the floor (I'm still waiting for the e.coli to set in) until I could safely get up. Then I took the bag to the sink to dump its cola contents. The good news is that I now know that if I ever need to use that bag as a portable cooler, it is certainly water-tight. When I went back to the stall, I noticed that the can had continued to exude its contents, which were now dripping from the stall receptacle. I don't know about you, but I never want to see something dripping from there when I enter a stall, so I removed the can and put it in the larger trash can by the door. As I was going back to finish wiping up the mess on the floor, another woman came in. I'm not sure what she thought I had done in there that I needed to be wiping things up off the floor, but luckily, I didn't see her again for the rest of the conference. Needless to say, I was caffeine-less the next morning.

I also had a karma clash with my camera, though on this one, I think the good karma won out over the bad. I have only had a digital camera since early December and I have loved every minute of being in the digital world. I took the camera with me and I took a LOT of pictures. I was also so excited to run into two women I worked with in my early Lawson days. We all worked together when I was new to the team and very pregnant, Sara was a consultant, and Hannah was our Lawson expert. I haven't seen either of them in several years, and we hadn't all been together in about seven or eight years. Wednesday morning, the last day of the conference, we were all in the breakfast area so I wanted a picture. My excitement got the better of me, and as I pulled out the camera - the camera I had worked so hard to protect during the conference for fear of something happening to damage it, my current favorite material possession - I dropped it. On the concrete floor. It didn't look too bad, but part of the battery cover was broken off and the casing had popped apart on one corner. I snapped it back together and turned it on. I could still see the pictures that I had already taken, but the display screen was black when I switched it to camera mode. I told my friend that she would have to look through the viewfinder because something was wrong with the display. They were all very concerned for how I would handle the disaster. Inside I was a screaming, crying, hysterical mess. Outside, I tried very hard to keep it together and not feel like I had just dropped my newborn on the floor instead of a camera. I found clenching my fists and clasping my hands helped. As I examined the camera later - after Sara and Hannah had both left to catch planes - I realized that it was not the display that was broken (duh - I could see the pictures from the night before!), it was the lens. The picture of the three of us - it's a black square. So sad. Later, we were in the exhibition hall and the sales guy from our favorite consultant company called Stacy and I over. I was still in a bit of a shell-shocked state, trying not to think about my lovely, broken camera. Tom had gifts for Stacy and I. For Stacy, he handed her an oversized version of their 2007 mascot, Jett - a black panther - he is way cute. He handed me a box. With a camera in it. The camera I broke is a Canon PowerShot A540. He gave me a Canon PowerShot A530. Stacy had to explain to him why I was so overcome with emotion I couldn't speak - he thought I was unhappy with my gift. If that's not the triumph of karma, I don't know what is. And it also proves that someone somewhere really WANTS me to take pictures of the CIBER consultants drinking and partying it up. And maybe, just maybe, I honor the good karma mojo and not use those pictures as future blackmail. But I may still post the videos to YouTube.

Monday, March 12, 2007

When my love for food meets my love for clothes that fit

Dear cookie-leaver (may I assume cookie-baker, as well?),

I hate you (I love you. Marry me?). You left evil (yummy) cookies on the Food Table, which is right next to my cubicle. Those (delicate, pretty) pink cookies called my name until I could no longer resist. I ate one and it was (wonderful, perfect, strawberry/cherry-flavored heaven) terrible! And still the plate of cookies remained, calling to me as I walked past to and from my cube; drifting into the corner of my vision even as I looked away. And so I ate them. Most of them. I would have taken a picture of one - because, yes, I bring my camera to work - had I not devoured it before I thought to do so.

Please (don't) stop bringing cookies to work! It is not in keeping with our corporate values of respect to all people - you clearly do not respect my lack of will power and my efforts to maintain a more healthy eating lifestyle. It's almost as if you knew that I have consumed four boxes of Girl Scout cookies in the last five days and are attacking (consoling) me while I am at my weakest. What have I done to deserve this treatment (I'll do it again!)?

Yes, I was in California enjoying warm weather and sunshine for five days, but I worked, I swear! It was work! Hard, hard work! I drove the golf cart, for crying out loud - is that not effort enough? I had to drink free beer. With consultants - the horror! And all the sunshine - it hurt my eyes! And watching Dean Hager - these are the lengths I go to in order to bring back new Lawson knowledge for you. And still you torment me...Please, no (yes, yes!) more cookies. Maybe some carrot sticks (better yet, potato sticks) or a nice (chocolate-covered) fruit plate.

Begging for (more treats, like a lap dog) your understanding,


Sunday, March 4, 2007

Dude, it's totally way sweet. Seriously.


Pens that are missing the caps should not be allowed. I was in a meeting this afternoon at the hotel and they had pens and paper at every seat. The pens were the kind with the removeable cap, except the caps were missing. Maybe the hotel staff thought we would all revert back to junior high and start throwing them at each other? They should have taken the pen tubes and just left us the ink stick because we had one HELL of a spit ball fight.


We have all moved to the valley and have selected our approved lingo. I have a pet word that some people know about. Two, really. But it's only one that I've apparently taught my daughter to use. My word made it in, and so did a couple of other people's. The official words of CUE are: Dude, sweet, totally, way, and seriously. Dude, I totally love San Diego, seriously. Way.


Did you know California has an official dog? Must be. Within the first two hours I was here, I saw four people with the same kind of dog. Small, white, fluffy - Bichon Frise-ish. Cute, don't get me wrong, but Dude, seriously? One dog was being walked like a normal dog. One dog was riding in a car. One dog was riding in a bicycle basket (I would have totally taken a picture if I wouldn't have gotten busted - it was too cute), and the last one was being carried while its owner (I assume, but maybe they were just friends) walked. So, I guess she was taking her dog for a carry instead of a walk...Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore. Or Indiana either.


Have I mentioned that I LOVE palm trees? I would marry them if they would relocate so I could be closer to my family. And if they promised to do all the laundry and most of the dishes. I went on a round of golf with Stacy and Tom and Tom's BFF, Kelly, yesterday. I shot 64. Pictures. You didn't really think I GOLFED, did you? Dude, I drove the cart! I loaded the pics to Flickr - check them out! I have movies, too...I may have to set up YouTube...but I might accept bribes of Cool Kid Beer...

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Oscar is watching the kids

Steve called just after the plane landed in Denver for our lay-over and I had turned the phone on (to take a picture, what else). He wanted to discuss where I had left the van and point out to me - one more time - just how stupid I am.

Stacy and I rode together to the airport. We are on the same flights. We work together. She is my boss and very good friend. We are going to be together a LOT while we're at this conference. Why not ride together to the airport? Save the hassle and the cost (yes, to the company, but still) of parking for both of us. Trouble is, I live about 30 - 40 minutes out of the way for Stacy to come pick up. And our flight left at 7am this morning, so that's pretty early in the morning to be tacking on an extra half-hour when you could spend that time sleeping instead. So I asked one of my other friends, Jody, if she or her husband would be willing to help Steve drive down to get the van this weekend so I could meet Stacy a little closer to the driving route. She agreed and so I met Stacy at a Bob Evans right off the interstate, close to our office, which is about a 20 minute drive from my house. And everything was hunky dory. I thought. But I forget that I can't think. See? Stupid.

Steve's call was to tell me that Jody can't go with him until Sunday. And what if the van gets towed? And why did I leave it there? Why didn't we just leave it at work? Or why didn't I just drive to the airport - easier for everyone? (umm, except STACY who would have had to get up before 3am instead of 3:30am!) While I was being scolded on the phone, I was trying to get someone to actually let me out into the aisle of the plane so I could exit, find the gate for my connecting flight (leaving in 30 minutes from when we landed), work my way through the throngs of people, acknowledge the compliment on my new laptop bag (it is very cute!), and find my traveling companions. So I was a little distracted. And all I could say in response to Steve’s questions was, "Well, I just did it wrong. Bye." I should seriously just record myself saying "I did it wrong" and have it ready for whenever I need it. It would save time.

He called back as my plane was taxiing out (I forgot to turn the phone off! - major scolding from the flight attendant!!!) to tell me that he's been informed that he's grouchy today. By the kids. Oh, should be a fun day at my house. Gosh, I feel bad that I'm going to be in San Diego enjoying 70 degrees and sunshine...when do I have to go back?

Leaving on a jet plane...

I am on a plane, and I think we just flew over the Grand Canyon. It was big and looked deep and I think we're in the right general area. But it's kind of hard to judge for sure because a) I've never been to the Grand Canyon, b) I'm not sure of the perspective from whatever height we're flying and c), I'm kinda dumb.

I'm on my way to San Diego for a conferece - Lawson CUE. CUE was in San Diego two years ago and it might be one of the most beautiful places these sheltered Mid-Western eyes have ever seen. Last time, Steve flew out on the last day of the conference and we stayed through the weeked for a quick vacation. He won't be doing that this year, so there will be no leisurely drives up the coast for me this time.

But it should be a fun time anyway, and I'll get to catch up with some friends. Oh, and you know, learn some stuff, too. I brought the camera and the cord (go me for remembering!) and I have web load ready on the camera phone. There could be some interesting photos posted to Flickr soon!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Graduating, even though I missed Prom

So I have this cube neighbor...let's call him Gilbert. I have posted once here about Gilbert, though I hesitated even to post that. I have had many, MANY, other things I considered posting here about Gilbert. But I resisted. Though I don't think my little blog is very heavily trafficked, and those who are reading - as far as I know - are my friends, who all know about Gilbert anyway, it didn't seem right to post somewhat unkind (but FUNNY, oh, I'm telling you, that Gilbert is prime material, my friends!) stories about him. The first blog I ever started reading was Dooce. Heather Armstrong is a wonderful writer. And when she first started writing her blog, she worked as a web designer and she posted things about the people she worked with and for. Eventually, they found it, and she was fired for it. I tucked that away as Lesson #1 in Blog-Writing - don't blog about work! So I don't blog too much about work, and I don't blog anything about work that I would be overly embarrassed for my boss and/or co-workers to read. Except for that entry about Gilbert. I'm not entirely sure how he would feel if he read that entry and recognized himself, or what I would say if he confronted me about it.

Over the last week or so, there have been a couple of very entertaining (to me and my friends) stories about Gilbert, and I have sent them via e-mail to a group of people with whom I normally share these kinds of things. Some of them are co-workers of both mine and Gilbert's. Others are outside of our company. I sent one earlier this week, as a matter of fact, and as I was typing and sending it, there was something troubling me, though I couldn't exactly put my finger on it. I almost didn't send it. But it was really funny, dammit! And I am nothing if not a laugh-whore, so I did send it. I love to be able to tell a story - SELL a story - to someone and get them to laugh. And they did. But then one of my co-workers and friends pulled me aside to very delicately tell me that maybe I really shouldn't be sending that kind of stuff in e-mail. It isn't in accordance with our corporate value of respecting all people. And she is right. That's what was bothering me. I knew it was wrong. Yes, it's funny, because he's different and he farts (OUT LOUD) at his desk and he talks about the books being cooked every day and he obsessively watches the happenings of his stock market portfolio. But here's the trouble: we're laughing at someone else. We - and in particular me - are being catty high school girls who are laughing at the kid who's not part of our cool club, who dresses a little differently and looks and acts a little odd. Ouch. When did I turn into THAT?

I wasn't that girl when I was in middle school or high school. If anything, at times, I was the object of those discussions. So what happened to me?!? I turned into a laugh-whore, that's what happened. If they're laughing WITH me, they aren't laughing AT, I guess some of those high school insecurities have lingered, haven't they? And knowing that I have these lingering insecurities, I have to stop myself and put myself -back- in Gilbert's shoes. It doesn't feel good to be excluded. To be laughed at. Especially in a place you can not avoid, like work or school. It makes a sometimes unpleasant experience all that much worse. And one of the the traits I want most in the world for my children to posses is politeness. Kindness. I really do believe that many problems of the world could be avoided or corrected if people were just a little more polite. So what am I doing?!? This isn't the person I want to be and it certainly isn't the person I want my kids to be. This is the laugh-whore, begging for people to like her.

So, though I'm a little late in getting started, and I feel a little sheepish about making my Lenten sacrifice be something I should already be doing/not doing, I've decided to use the season of Lent to try to put myself back on the right path. Sometimes, everyone needs to vent, and there are always people who we won't get along with. So I'm not going to say that I'm never going to say anything negative about another person. I'm human, c'mon. But I'm going back to the wisdom that if you can't say it TO someone, you shouldn't say (or write) it ABOUT someone. Simple. Obvious. But apparently, my brain is trying to re-write junior high and I've forgotten. So now I'll just have to go back to laughing at my own stupidity. And believe me, there is plenty of material to work with there. We could start with all the ways in which I have successfully embarrassed myself...oh, those are good times...and then of course there are my expert parenting skills. If only the SuperNanny knew about me, she could fill a whole season!

And before I forget, thank you, my friend, for saying the words that I didn't know were in my head and pulling me back out of junior high. Apparently, the bad hair styles and questionable clothing choices just weren't enough to keep me away.